You are here

Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Hippie162 » Tue May 04, 2021 12:40 pm

Wonks wrote:Note that your group tracks will also need to have their input gains adjusted so that the signal comes in at a reasonable level. If you are sending it ten signals at -10dBFS, then the mixed resulting incoming signal will be at 0dBFS.

And likewise for multiple group basses feeding the master bus, so the master bus input gain can also be adjusted. Cubase makes this easy by having such a function on each channel (though you have to enable its display to adjust it). In many other DAWs, you need to add a gain control module as the first insert on each channel to do so.

The internal structure of the DAW will happily cope with signals that are at higher levels, but you'll get issues with a) plug-ins that mimic analogue devices and start to clip or distort at a similar input level to the hardware they mimic and b) anything over 0dBFS will be truncated to 0dBFS when exporting the mix (and sound bad).

:-) This is super useful information, thank you! I was about to just adjust the clip gain on each channel and hadn't taken any of that into account. I am starting to suspect that what has happened is as you all say the gain of an already too loud event is being enhanced at several stages along the way and then going into plug ins adding yet more gain :headbang:

If this is the problem and can be sorted I will do a dance. I have been sitting there thinking I have exhausted everything in my knowledge base and would have to pay out for an engineer to mix it for me!
Hippie162
Poster
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Hippie162 » Tue May 04, 2021 12:43 pm

Mike Shand wrote:
I have tested mixing down with the Stereo out fader right down so I can just hear it in Cubase - still the mixdown is ear popping loud?

This seems key. It looks like the mix down is output from something other than the main stereo bus. Perhaps something at a very high level?

On export mixdown I am selecting the Stereo Out channel to export audio from. Is there anywhere else I need to check that might affect the routing?
Hippie162
Poster
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby The Elf » Tue May 04, 2021 12:45 pm

Mike Shand wrote:
I have tested mixing down with the Stereo out fader right down so I can just hear it in Cubase - still the mixdown is ear popping loud?
This seems key. It looks like the mix down is output from something other than the main stereo bus. Perhaps something at a very high level?
True, and is why I say to get that master fader at unity and leave it there. Do not turn it down. This should expose what it truly going on.

I know others disagree with me, but in a 'normal' mix, assuming you stick to the -10dBFS peak guide, then you should VERY rarely need to touch that master fader - and I would say to make that never - in other words, sort out the sources rather than touch that fader.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16776
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Hippie162 » Tue May 04, 2021 12:49 pm

Good Advice Elf thank you :-) I have been messing about with the master fader all the way along :blush:
Hippie162
Poster
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby The Elf » Tue May 04, 2021 12:59 pm

Hippie162 wrote:Good Advice Elf thank you :-) I have been messing about with the master fader all the way along :blush:
When I'm DAW teaching that is my 'Rule #1': Thou shalt not touch the master fader! ;)
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16776
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby worshiptuned » Tue May 04, 2021 8:12 pm

manwilde wrote:Based on what you say it seems the problem might be related to playback software outside the DAW. I´d bypass the Beats Audio first (don´t know what that is, some kind of "enhancer"?).

What happens if you play a commercial release through your media players?.

I think this is the key, did you try it, Hippie 162?

Look at the main volume gain of your PC, (you say you don't use any external hardware) I mean in the audio settings of the PC, not Cubase, see the levels of the speakers and...
See if when you open Cubase and when you mixdown, and when you playback the exported files the gain levels in the audio settings are the same. Maybe the software Beats Audio you quoted above changes some settings and you said that something is changed when the software is disabled. When you use Cubase it usually overrides the settings of other audio softwares because Cubase takes exclusive control of the audio of your system with the selected Asio driver and then your third party softwareBeats Audio is likely disabled and when you shut Cubase is enabled again and can change your audio settings.

To override this behavior of Cubase you can also try in the settings of windows, click sound, device properties, un-check the box “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device".
worshiptuned
Regular
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:36 pm
my Spotify my YouTube  
 

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby merlyn » Tue May 04, 2021 11:37 pm

Wonks wrote:If you are sending it ten signals at -10dBFS, then the mixed resulting incoming signal will be at 0dBFS.

It wouldn't take as many as ten. Adding four similar signals (for our purposes rhythmically similar) would give a 12dB rise. Correlated signals add at 6dB. Uncorrelated signals add at 3dB.

Multiplying by 10 is a 20dB rise.
merlyn
Regular
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Hippie162 » Wed May 05, 2021 8:17 am

worshiptuned wrote:
manwilde wrote:Based on what you say it seems the problem might be related to playback software outside the DAW. I´d bypass the Beats Audio first (don´t know what that is, some kind of "enhancer"?).

What happens if you play a commercial release through your media players?.

I think this is the key, did you try it, Hippie 162?

Look at the main volume gain of your PC, (you say you don't use any external hardware) I mean in the audio settings of the PC, not Cubase, see the levels of the speakers and...
See if when you open Cubase and when you mixdown, and when you playback the exported files the gain levels in the audio settings are the same. Maybe the software Beats Audio you quoted above changes some settings and you said that something is changed when the software is disabled. When you use Cubase it usually overrides the settings of other audio softwares because Cubase takes exclusive control of the audio of your system with the selected Asio driver and then your third party softwareBeats Audio is likely disabled and when you shut Cubase is enabled again and can change your audio settings.

To override this behavior of Cubase you can also try in the settings of windows, click sound, device properties, un-check the box “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device".

Morning!,

So I concentrated on what the others were saying about gain staging last night, I started with a fresh project and imported some of the original audio files.. set the pre gains of all channels and busses to -10db to start off with, no plug ins whatsoever.... I then did a test mixdown , it started really quiet, then faded to a louder volume, stayed consistent for a few seconds, then fluctuated volume again :crazy:

At least it wasn't ear popping loud this time though although it was still definately much louder in the mixdown than it was in Cubase.. So I am still scratching my head.

I did actually check the audio PC levels, they were set to 100% - too much??

I completely uninstalled Beats audio as I couldn't figure out how to find the driver itself I am hoping that has done the trick although no different outcome as yet.

One other point to add.. while I was doing my initial mix, I would playback while mixing, then I noticed that my PC had been recording audio layered over my tracks from my PC mic! There was the odd bit off conversation on the track.. really odd as I had not pressed record?? I deleted the events where this happened and have disabled the PC mic and muted all input busses.

I have actually bought my laptop into work today as it id doing my head in so much. So on my break I will put the soundcloud link to last nights test mixdown for you all.

ONE other question (sorry): WhenI initially mixed down my audio tracks individually from my first session, I did NO gain staging at all.. I am pretty sure they would have been peaking as that session was loud and some faders were turned up even due to my novice rusty brain thinking it was blending the mix.... SO.. do you guys think this could have caused the issues? Should I go back into that original session and completely start over by doing a mixdown on each track again BUT gain stage them first, OR can gain staging the tracks in this new session sort the issue?

Sorry for all the questions, this has all moved on from how I worked before and I consider myself a total newbie nowadays.

TIA
Hippie162
Poster
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Hippie162 » Wed May 05, 2021 8:43 am

Me again..

I couldn't wait on it here's the rough mixdown minus the lead vocals that did last night.

https://soundcloud.com/user-410433233-548354857/test2

So I played it back through my work PC and it sounds fine other than being extremely low volume (guessing due to excessive gain cutback I did last night) ... On my home laptop this sounded so much louder.

How is this sounding on your end? Would I just need to do a proper gain stage, mixdown again and it should be ok?

Wow I don't know what the issue is with my laptop but it's a major one going forward if it persists :wtf:
Hippie162
Poster
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby manwilde » Wed May 05, 2021 8:54 am

Listening to it now... it sounds fine here. Some vocals seem to pop up much louder than others, but that I think is mix related, as the drums and the keyboards play normally throughout...Your Cubase is fine, you obviously have something weird going on in your Windows audio playback settings...

Again, it would be very helpful to know how a commercial release sounds on your media players...
manwilde
Regular
Posts: 286
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 3:57 pm

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby The Elf » Wed May 05, 2021 9:16 am

Hippie162 wrote:So I concentrated on what the others were saying about gain staging last night, I started with a fresh project and imported some of the original audio files.. set the pre gains of all channels and busses to -10db to start off with
I fear you have misunderstood...

This is not about arbitrarily setting some control to -10dB.

What you need to do is set *all* faders at *unity* (large white number under the fader set to '0.00').

Now adjust the gain on each track such that the *meter* of each track peaks at no higher than -10dBFS with the fader at unity. This does not mean that the gain control will necessarily be set to -10dB! The peak value is here:
Image
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16776
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Hippie162 » Wed May 05, 2021 9:30 am

The Elf wrote:
Hippie162 wrote:So I concentrated on what the others were saying about gain staging last night, I started with a fresh project and imported some of the original audio files.. set the pre gains of all channels and busses to -10db to start off with
I fear you have misunderstood...

This is not about arbitrarily setting some control to -10dB.

What you need to do is set *all* faders at *unity* (large white number under the fader set to '0.00').

Now adjust the gain on each track such that the *meter* of each track peaks at no higher than -10dBFS with the fader at unity. This does not mean that the gain control will necessarily be set to -10dB! The peak value is here:
Image

Oooooh!!!

I have misunderstood indeed. Explains why it's so damn quiet now then :lolno:

I did set all faders to unity, and scouts honour will not move the master fader from unity so help me God :thumbup:

Well it's a good job I joined here as I was going about it all backwards to start with by mixing with faders instead of pre gain and not adjusting plug in levels. I have downloaded a commercial release to check my media player on the "dodgy" player so will post shortly with result.
Hippie162
Poster
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Hippie162 » Wed May 05, 2021 9:37 am

P.S I really appreciate you all taking time to actually help me!
Hippie162
Poster
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby The Elf » Wed May 05, 2021 9:50 am

Hippie162 wrote:...and not adjusting plug in levels.
That's another subject we will need to address at some stage. ;)
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16776
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Mixdown Sounds Awful! Cubase Artist 9.5 - HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Hippie162 » Wed May 05, 2021 1:38 pm

Hi All,

I have tried a few commercial tracks through the laptop now, the volume is very loud.. too loud BUT no volume fluctuations and weird compression effect like I was getting with my track.

Maybe it doesn't like the file type (WAVE)? :headbang:
Hippie162
Poster
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am

PreviousNext